Heat-related fatalities in Wisconsin during the summer of 2012

Megan L. Christenson, Sarah Dee Geiger, Henry A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Results: The 2012 heat-related fatalities occurred in both urban and rural counties. All cases had 1 or more known risk factors: 100% lacked functioning residential air conditioning; 70% were over age 65; 75% had a cardiovascular disease; and 52% had a mental health condition. Of the 14 cases with a mental health condition, half were known to be taking psychotropic medication. None of the decedents had been in air conditioning immediately prior to death, and 8 (36%) had been using fans. Conclusions: Air conditioning is known to be a strong protective factor in preventing heatrelated deaths whereas fans have not been shown to be significantly protective across all exposure situations. Prevention efforts should stress reducing social isolation by encouraging checks by friends, neighbors, or police. Prevention messages should also warn patients on psychotropic medications that the medication could increase their risk of heat-related illness or fatality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalWisconsin Medical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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